Have you ever been in a situation where you hesitated to seek help for someone who had over-imbibed alcohol or ingested too many drugs and was in danger of overdosing? You wanted to get them immediate medical assistance, but didn’t want to wind up arrested yourself.
Such is frequently the case with underage drinking and drug use by those of any age. Nobody wants to just stand by and watch a friend die needlessly, and under Georgia law, they can avoid prosecution by invoking medical amnesty.
Medical amnesty applies to those who seek medical assistance for people who are in danger of succumbing to alcohol poisoning or a fatal drug overdose. The amnesty also extends to those for whom medical help is summoned. It doesn’t matter if they were overdosing on illegal drugs or were drinking underage.
The amnesty provides immunity from arrest or prosecution that would only arise from the seeking of medical assistance for the person who is endangered, and the decision to extend medical amnesty is made individually after reviewing the cases.
If there are other reasons for police to press charges, such as if a person is caught selling drugs, this amnesty might not be offered. But failing to get help for someone dying of an overdose could conceivably result in more serious problems for the person(s) involved.
If you were arrested in Georgia on charges of underage drinking, possession, or use of illegal drugs after seeking emergency medical treatment for another person in danger of overdosing, your criminal defense attorney should investigate the possibility of invoking medical amnesty to get your charges dismissed.
Source: University Health Center, “Medical Amnesty,” accessed Feb. 05, 2016